Competition in the cloud business becomes more and more intensive, so to ride high, service providers should keep meeting customers demands and even exceed them. One of the possible paths to such result consists of five steps:
listen to the current customers and users of competitors
find out their pains and blockers
predict upcoming troubles users can face
educate explaining the need in appropriate actions to overcome those issues
offer solution that will solve specific problems
Remember a grim truth – no one cares about your product, everyone thinks about solving own problems and satisfying own needs. That’s why your product line, its promotion and selling should be built considering this peculiarity.
And today we’ll talk what kind of problems cloud hosting customers face nowadays and what can be offered as a solution by service providers. Following these 5 points is a “win-win” strategy, as users get what they require, while vendors increase their revenue and strengthen position at the market.
Problem #1: Complexity of Managing Infrastructure
This is where whole hosting industry started and the keyword here is “managing”. It’s a big pain for users to manage the infrastructure, as it is not their core competency. Every demand creates the offering, this is how hosting providers appeared. They hired experienced guys, bought good infrastructure and software to offer managed services to the clients. Hosting is all about solving infrastructure management problem.
Nowadays, there are three most popular cloud hosting types for managing the infrastructure on specific level: IaaS, CaaS and PaaS.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service is already presented for a long time on the market, it solves the complexity of provisioning and speeds up time-to-market. However, this solution is still a bit problematic to some extent, as it requires technical expertise to do stuff inside virtual machines. In the IaaS you perform operation system configurations, install containers (if you use them) inside virtual machines, set up runtimes, security, firewalls, etc. Still, it appeared to be a huge step forward in terms of moving from dedicated servers to managed infrastructure.
Container-as-a-Service provides you something like operating system, so you just bring your templates inside this infrastructure. Provisioning here is much faster, as you can use your templates on different providers without lock-in, configure once and deploy to many places. This is why containers got so big traction on the market. They gave a kind of flexibility, providing a little bit more automation compared to Infrastructure-as-a-Service, plus elasticity and density.
Platform-as-a-Service covers even more, including Runtimes. This solution provides ready-to-go application servers, databases, load balancers, etc., so you just choose the pre-configured stack and deploy an application. In some cases, you might need to optimize and customize the configurations. And a good PaaS offering provides a possibility for customization without forcing to use a specific design.
CaaS and PaaS are getting bigger and bigger traction, so if you want to ease the infrastructure management for your clients on maximum, this is, for sure, the direction to move.
Problem #2: Overpaying Killing Business
Today most of the vendors sell virtual machines: you buy 4GB of RAM and even if you don’t use all of these resources, anyway, you pay for the limits. And when you need just a little bit more, you have to buy twice bigger VM and face downtime during migration. It’s a working business model for cloud vendors to make more money from end-customers.
Hosting providers can compete with cloud giants offering a solution to this problem – fair pay-as-you-use pricing model based on automatic vertical scaling. This is the same approach as we have with our electricity bills. The customer can just set the maximum limits for scaling but pay only for the really used resources. This can beat the problems of right-sizing and overpaying for unused resources.
Today we already see this offering on the market – for example, many cloud vendors sell traffic by small granular chunks, so you don’t buy in advance. But with computing power it is still an old school approach in most cases. Because resizing of the virtual machines is a big pain, as you have to put a lot of efforts to migrate from one VM to another one, and it causes a downtime. You also need to create the redundancy, high-availability, move workload from previous VM to a new one. With containers it’s much easier: you just drag and drop the limits and that’s it. So containerization of the infrastructure can be a step to more fair pricing model, and, as a result, more customers.
Problem #3: Wasting Developers for Server Configuration
Configuring cloud environments is fun the first time you do it. But it doesn’t take too long before it becomes a tedious time sink. For example, widely popular AWS is like a real labyrinth of services, so people are forced to hire sysadmin guys for provisioning and managing the required workloads.
Managed hosting providers can take this unneeded complexity away and help developers to focus on coding, but not on infrastructure management. It can be covered with intuitive UI and automation of the processes – not only configuring the operating system but also providing elasticity for the whole environment, enabling clustering and multi data center deployments. Implementing this in-house requires a big effort and companies are ready to spend money to hire experts to cope with this.
Problem #4: Legacy Applications Compatibility
It’s not that easy to migrate legacy applications to the cloud, as you need to know how to decompose all the stuff, put it into containers or microservices, and then launch within the chosen cloud platform. So if the service provider has the required expertise and tools, this is a large field for revenue growing.
There are use cases when companies chose to go with local service provider while migrating to the cloud but not with top cloud providers. Often, the reason is in the personalized support that can be provided throughout the project lifecycle.
Problem #5: Data Protection and Latency
Many countries have introduced very specific regulations for data storage, requiring companies to keep data inside the country. And GDPR in Europe only reminded us of the potential impact of regulations and security laws. In other cases, such rules are dictated by the security requirements of the company itself. As a result, businesses are looking for a way to distribute data across locations or various types of clouds and, at the same time, be compliant with different regulations.
In addition, globalization makes modern businesses target a worldwide audience that leads to new challenges, as clients demand quality and fast performance no matter where they are located. Bringing the connectivity point closer to customers ensure slower latency.
That’s where multi-cloud availability can help, as the data can be distributed across regions from geographically disparate locations with own laws. Distributing workloads across different clouds also improves availability and performance. Utilizing redundancy in infrastructure and software also guarantees a higher level of fault tolerance. This is a classic approach to mitigate the risk of application outages, downtime, and data loss.
Each service provider cannot build datacenters in all required locations, but by using multi-cloud, companies have a wider choice of infrastructure from other vendors smoothly integrated within the same platform.
Multi-Cloud PaaS Partnership Program for Service Providers
Understanding of the customers’ problems is the first step to meet their needs. As the second step, service providers have to implement the required technologies and services within own business model. And here some challenges can appear – lack of experience, not enough budget and time to create own solution, no clear vision on what should be changed from technical point of view and so on. That’s why Jelastic offers a special partnership program for hosting service providers in order to make their business upgrade as smooth as possible.
Jelastic is a turnkey Multi-Cloud PaaS that helps to solve the complexity of infrastructure management, environments provisioning, scaling, clustering, etc. It can be installed on top of own infrastructure and provided to customers as a powerful suit of DevOps tools. Service providers can also add own value on top – support, data location, extra management and migration services.
In addition, Jelastic provides training sessions on marketing, sales, technical support, and other assistance. More about Jelastic turnkey business package for service providers can be explored in the video below.
Now when you are aware of problems your potential customers face everyday, make a right step and start solving them. Contact us to accelerate your hosting business with the help of Multi-Cloud PaaS, scalable clusters, and new generation cost efficiency.